GHB / random


Writers often get asked how they motivate themselves. How they force themselves to write. And of course we wrinkle our brows and talk sensibly about routines, and deadlines, and brainstorming documents, and self-discipline…

The truth is, there’s a magical elixir that gets me through the the day (and sometimes night) of writing. It’s comforting on ordinary days, and the source of my writerly superpower when I’m exhausted or at a low ebb.

Safer than a speeding bullet! Cheaper than a locomotive! Helps me leap tall buildings in a single bound! Or… well… helps me stumble out of bed in the morning with my brain more or less functioning, anyway.


Tea all the tea - cropped-small

Here is a pile of all my tea

Most writers I know get through a lot of coffee or tea. I like my tea slightly sweet, and strong enough to punch through a wall. Sometimes when I’m working hard I lose track of how much tea I’ve drunk, and suddenly realise that there’s a big heap of used teabags near the kettle, and that my pulse is going skippety for no good reason. (That might be too much tea.)

Sometimes I go out and meet other authors for tea. A good friend of mine took me to this weird and wonderful afternoon tea at the Kensington Hotel. Look at the tiny gold-painted egg in its own little nest! And the chocolate butterfly cake!

Alexander McQueen afternoon tea-smallShe also took me to this tea in a cafe in the Houses of Parliament!

Houses of Parliament afternoon tea2-smallI’m sure it’s perfectly possible for authors to write without tea… but it’s too late for me. I’m hooked.

Sorry, I’m off to hug my teapot now.

10 thoughts on “Tea!

  1. Hey Frances!! 😀

    I have about, 20 cups of tea a day, PG Tips. 😀 I recently (on holiday,) got the monkey, the knitted one from the averts of PG Tips. (He has a purple shirt that says, I’m just taking a selfie) 😀

    He sits by my bed, and my mouse with a pastel pink Santa hat on, and black coloured booties. 🙂

    (yeah, I’m 24 and have 2 cuddys on my bed..)

    • Hello Laura! Thanks for commenting. Wow, 20 cups of tea a day is definitely more than me! I do drink a fair bit of PG Tips, but in the afternoon I sometimes have a cup of Assam or something. Right now I’m drinking English Breakfast.

      I always did like that monkey. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with cuddlies. 🙂

    • Hurray for tea, as you say! Lady Grey is indeed a lot like Earl Grey, but with a little more fruit peel in it. In fact I think it’s just a variation on Earl Grey, invented twenty or so years ago…

  2. I think the best tea I ever heard about was hobbit themed tea. Each tea-bag was based on one of the character’s personality – so Thorin’s tea was kind of dark and brooding. I was so jealous of the person that got it has a present 🙂

    • That sounds great! Where do you get tea like that? What on earth would you put in Gandalf tea? Is there Smaug tea, with black pepper and spices in it?
      The only bookish tea I have is a tiny box of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ tea I was given by the Story Museum in Oxtord.

  3. Congratulations on the Costa Award. Inread tnis and it made me smile. I am a Tetleys addict to such an extent i put kettle, tea and sugar in my study. Lady Jane is for afternoons and i love the extra fruitiness. My favourite tea shop is opposite a beach in Porthmadog and even in Polystyrene, it is the best tea in the world.

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